Grexit ‘won’t happen’ says Krugman, though it would be best for Greece


Greece would be better off outside the eurozone, American economist and op-ed columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman told the Athens Democracy Forum on Wednesday.

Responding to a question by executive editor of Kathimerini newspaper Alexis Papachelas, the Nobel Prize-winning economist said: “the question is academic… it won’t happen.”

European elites, Krugman said, are deeply committed to maintaining the integrity of the euro area.
Speaking of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Krugman said that his reluctance to take Greece out of the euro had depleted the country’s bargaining power opposite foreign lenders.

In a speech later in the day, opening another panel discussion, on “Religion, Migration, Power and Money: How the ancient Greeks dealt with them,” President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said representative democracy is in danger and highlighted “government despotism” and “delays in the dispensation of justice” as key problems. He spoke of a “minotaur of liberalism.” “Entities without any democratic legitimacy immobilize the state apparatus, which has genuine legitimacy,” he said, referring to markets and credit rating agencies.

The Athens Democracy Forum is organized by the NYT in cooperation with the United Nations Democracy Fund, the City of Athens and Kathimerini. Today’s program starts with a panel discussion about the plight of migrants and is to include European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos and former Italian primer minister Mario Monti.